The Way-Back Machine
This week, for some unexplained reason, is the week to post a pic of yourself as a child on facebook (you know, the social utility). After watching others post rather interesting retro pics of themselves, I caved and put one up myself. I found myself chuckling reading comments and grown-up conversations between seemingly very young children. Mind twisting, to be sure!
I rather like this photo; I was about three, I think. What is it about a photo that takes you right back to that time? The old feeling just washes over you, like your senses have indelibly recorded the environment and emotion of that particular moment in time. This particular photo reminds me of my mother, as she was with me (obviously) when this photo was taken. She was about twenty-three at the time, and very much looked like I do now (well, without the wrinkles, I suppose).
It also makes me think of my beloved grandmother of blessed memory. I can still hear her voice describing me as 'so precocious'. Yeah. For years I didn't know what that meant, so I looked it up...
precocious, adj., characterized by or characteristic of exceptionally early development or maturity (especially in mental aptitude); "a precocious child"...Well, OK...I suppose that fits. It just always sounded a little negative in my ears as I was growing up, though.
My grandparents were wordsmiths. There is no other word for their love of language. They did things with it I have never seen or heard anyone else do, simply amazing. As a young child, I would sit on my grandma's lap and listen to her converse with my very German grandfather in a language I will never hear again. Part English, part German, with some Yiddish thrown in for good measure, then mixing up the words and some words were actually reversed in their lettering. Amazingly, I understood it and even laughed at gentle teasing and riddles in this alien concoction. (Haha! Talk about speaking in tongues!)
My grandfather taught me how to count in German, too, but I don't remember much of that. I sure know when I hear German spoken, that's for sure. My parents were actually married in Germany, when my father was stationed there in the Army back in the early '60s. My grandmother also got to go over to be with them for a bit; how special it was to listen to them reminisce about their time over there.
I sure miss my grandma. It is amazing what emotion an old photo can evoke, isn't it.